It’s officially fall throughout the Northwest. Greta and her helpful crew are preparing their soil for the coming winter, planting garlic for the spring, as well as harvesting and storing apples and nuts. It’s all part of this month’s Gardening with Greta
Harvesting and Storing Apples
There are still quite a few apples on the trees in Greta’s garden, all thanks to some thinning done earlier in the summer. Now, she and her team of young gardeners are busy harvesting what is left to be picked.
Undamaged apples, those without any blemishes, cracks, or insects, can be stored where the temperatures are cool and the humidity is high. One of the best ways to store apples is in a food-grade barrel. Here’s how it’s done.
Greta is using a food-grade barrel she picked up at Coastal. She also has a bag of pine shavings. Each barrel will hold up to 12 layers or 120 apples. First, she’s adding a layer of pine shavings to the barrel.
Once a layer of bedding is down, she’ll place a layer of apples, then cover those with more pine bedding. Greta makes sure none of the apples touch. That way if one apple goes bad, it won’t affect the others.
This repeats until the barrel is full.
Now, she adds the lid.
Then she locks it in place with the band.
Finally, she’ll place her barrel somewhere cool and dark. You don’t want the apples to freeze. Root cellars or unheated garages work great.
Planting Garlic for a Summer Harvest
Garlic should be a staple for any Northwest garden. Greta has separated cloves of garlic and is planting each one about a hand-length apart. Each clove is buried 2-inches down with the pointy side up.
Coastal tip: While you might see some shoots by November, you won’t have fully grown garlic until early summer.
Counting on the Carrots
Greta and her crew of hard-workers pull this year’s carrots. It’s quite the impressive harvest.
They’ll wash them off, slice them up, and bag them for freezing. A vacuum sealer from Coastal makes the job a lot easier.
Later in the winter, she’ll make a garden soup with those carrots, along with the tomatoes, meat, and other veggies she has canned and frozen.
A Tidy Garden is a Happy Garden
Greta spends a bit of time in October cleaning up raised beds and garden areas. This helps prep them for the coming winter months. It also makes her life a bit easier this coming spring when she goes out to start planting.
Cleanup includes removing dead and decaying roots and stalks, weeding, and raking up leaves. Because this is a no-till garden, she adds some chicken manure to the tops of the beds once they are emptied. This will make the soil extra productive next spring. Learn more from our feature Trying a No-Till Garden.
Nothing from the garden gets wasted! A lot of the vegetation gets thrown in with the chickens and the cows.
For springtime blooms, Greta is happily raking away old leaves, vines, and plant material from her flowerbeds. This will help reduce plant diseases and minimize insects. It’s also the perfect time to plant bulbs.
Plan Your Spring Garden at Coastal
Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal carries garden tools, bales of straw, seeds, fertilizer, and a lot more to help with your garden. Plus, the folks who work here can answer your garden questions to ensure a bright, beautiful, and bountiful garden next year.